As Mike Huckabee rises in the Republican presidential polls, fiscal conservatives have been raising alarms about a series of tax increases he oversaw while governor of Arkansas — new taxes on gasoline, nursing home beds and even pet groomers.
The Club for Growth, a politically influential antitax group, has dubbed Mr. Huckabee Tax Hike Mike and poured money into anti-Huckabee advertisements that were broadcast in early nominating states, with more on the way. Mr. Huckabee “spends money like a drunken sailor,” according to the group’s news releases, and it has sprinkled YouTube and the airways with videos that mock him and his policies.
But the record offers a more complex and nuanced picture. While taxes did rise in the 10 years that Mr. Huckabee was governor, the portrayal of him as a wild-eyed spendthrift is hardly apt. For the most part, Mr. Huckabee’s tax initiatives had wide bipartisan support, with the small number of Republicans in the overwhelmingly Democratic state legislature voting for the tax increases and many maintaining that the state was better for them.Click here to read the rest of this story.